How to Make a Fish Tank Coffee Table

Written by ainsley patterson
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If you love fish and you love distinct home decor furnishings, then chances are you would like a fish tank coffee table. However, if you go out and shop around for a fish tank coffee table, you will probably find yourself less than impressed with the prices. There is one way that you can enjoy the look of a fish tank coffee table without breaking the bank, and that is to make your own.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 23-inch by 14-inch shelving unit
  • 10 gallon standard tank
  • Zip ties
  • Power strip
  • Light timer
  • 2 18-inch fluorescent fixtures
  • Bolt cutter
  • 2 1/2-inch chair end caps, 4 pack
  • Mallet
  • Glass vase marbles / beads, 340gr. (10)
  • 50W heater
  • 10G filter
  • Black foam board
  • Glass table top

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  1. 1

    Purchase wire shelving that is designed to withstand the weight of the full fish tank, which is going to be about 4.54 Kilogram per gallon.

  2. 2

    Assemble the bottom part of your wire shelving. Usually when you purchase wire shelving the four poles that go in the corners come in halves and screw together to become full length. If you purchase wire shelving that comes like this then you only need half of each pole so that they are the perfect coffee table height. If your wire shelving doesn't come like this then saw the poles down to the right height, each about 1 1/2-feet tall. Put the bottom shelf at a height that allows the lights, power strip and timer to be attached to the bottom without resting right up against your flooring.

  3. 3

    Think about the configuration of your lights, power strip and timer before you use your zip ties to secure them in place. You may want to place your power strip near the edge of the shelving so that you are able to easily unplug your timer and pull it out from underneath the table so that you can change its settings if need be. Take into consideration where the cord from the power strip should be coming out from underneath the table so that it can be plugged into a wall outlet.

  4. 4

    Place your tank on the bottom shelf and make sure that you are comfortable with its height and that you will have enough room to slip the fish food without constantly having to move the glass table top.

  5. 5

    Use bolt cutters to remove the top part of the second shelf, leaving only the frame part of the shelf, and then slide this frame part on to the poles of your coffee table. This gives your table more stability, while leaving an unobstructed view of the fish from the top of your coffee table.

  6. 6

    Place the caps over the tops of the poles using a mallet so that the glass top won't get scraped up when resting on the top of the poles.

  7. 7

    Place the aquarium coffee table where you want it in the room before you add water, because after you fill the aquarium with water it will be difficult to move. Decorate your aquarium with the glass beads so that the light can shower through them and set up your aquarium filter and heater, following the instructions that come with them. Fill aquarium with water.

  8. 8

    Cut the foam board to the appropriate sized rectangles so that it can be wedged around the bottom of the coffee table to conceal the lighting fixtures and power strip. It will also hold in the extra light emitted by the light fixtures.

  9. 9

    Plug in the fish tank coffee table and place the glass top on the top of the table.

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